Note: An earlier version of this article mistakenly listed the teacher involved in this incident as no longer working for Portsmouth Public Schools, based on information we received directly from a school spokesperson. The school has since said they “incorrectly confirmed” the employee’s status. The teaching assistant remains on administrative leave.
PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – An instructional assistant with Portsmouth Public Schools is on administrative leave after students in a second-grade classroom that she was supervising participated in a sexual activity.
The employee had taken over for a teacher at Hodges Manor Elementary who passed away last year.
10 On Your Side is not naming the employee, as no charges have been filed in this incident.
On Friday, the school principal sent a letter home to parents to alert them to the media coverage of the incident.
“I am writing you today to share that our school will be the subject of media coverage based on events that took place in one of our second-grade classrooms last week. While I cannot speak to the specifics of what occurred, I do want to share that we have been in constant partnership with central administration, law enforcement and Child Protestive Services through this process as well as the families of the students directly involved,” said the letter from Dr. Faye Felton.
“As you know, we will be closed for Spring Break next week; however, should you have any questions or concerns, we will be happy to meet with you when we return,” the letter said.
One parent provided 10 On Your Side with the email she wrote in response, which they shared with us on the condition of anonymity.
“We send our children to school afraid of shootings, and now we also have to fear 7 and 8-year-old children in their class and a negligent substitute teacher. I am more than appalled,” the letter said.
“Unfortunately part of our spring break will now be focused on having discussions with our son [that] we should not have to have, and a loss of innocence for him.”
The parent says her email was met with an out of office reply from the school.
Another parent who told 10 On Your Side that her daughter was directly involved in the incident said she has pulled her daughter from the classroom and has retained a lawyer.
The Portsmouth Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident. They tell 10 On Your Side that the investigation is ongoing.